If you love garlic, then you’re really going to love this dish. The health benefits of garlic are numerous & plentiful. Garlic is a naturally occurring antioxidant & also has many cardiovascular/heart healthy benefits. In addition, garlic has antibacterial properties and is thought to help regulate the body’s metabolism. Also, garlic is a very rich source of both Vitamins B-6 and C.
I have used toor dal (split/skinned yellow pigeon peas) for this recipe but you could most certainly use split/skinned yellow moong dal or even split/skinned masoor dal for this dish. Feel free to add some vegetables to the dish such as some chopped baby spinach, green peas or even some zucchini pieces.
GARLICKY DAL & SHRIMP CURRY
1 lb medium to large shrimp, peeled & de-veined/tail-on
2 cups toor dal (split yellow pigeon peas)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4-5 cloves of garlic, finely minced (you can add more/less if you like)
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and finely minced
1 medium tomato, diced
1 cup of freshly grated coconut (frozen is fine) OR 1½ cup coconut milk
1 tsp black mustard seeds
½ tsp cumin seeds
4-6 fresh curry leaves
3-4 dried red chilies, to taste
pinch of asafetida (hing)
1 tsp kala or goda masala (you may use garam masala as a substitute)
½ tsp turmeric (haldi)
¼ tsp red chili powder, to taste
½ tsp smoked Spanish paprika
½ tsp ground cumin powder
1 tsp ground coriander powder
salt & pepper, to taste
2 tbsp oil, vegetable or canola
freshly chopped cilantro leaves for garnish
If you using a pressure cooker, cook the dal. The dal should be tender but not mushy. Alternatively, you can cook the dal on the stovetop, just add enough water to cover. Let the dal cook for about 15-20-minutes on low heat or until the dal is tender but not mushy. Then, using the back of a large spoon or ladle, slightly mash the dal against the sides of the pot. This will give you a nice creamy consistency. Set aside and let cool until needed.
Meanwhile in a saucepan on medium high heat, add the oil. When hot, carefully add the mustard seeds. When the splattering stops, reduce the heat and add the cumin seeds, curry leaves, dried red chilies and the asafetida. Now add the onions & sauté until lightly browned. Then add the ginger, garlic and the spices (kala masala, turmeric, red chili powder, paprika, ground cumin powder, ground coriander powder, salt & pepper). Mix well to combine & let the spices cook for a few minutes before adding in the tomatoes & coconut. Stir well, let cook for a few minutes & then carefully, add the cooked dal along with any cooking water. Mix well and add in the shrimp. Stir well to combine, reduce the heat to low, bring to a gentle boil and let simmer for 5-6 minutes until the shrimp is completely cooked & all the flavors have mingled. If the curry is a bit too thick, add a little water as needed. The consistency should not be too thick or too watery. Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro leaves and serve with fresh chapatis and Basmati rice.
You could also make this dish using other varieties of meat (such as chicken or lamb) if you prefer, just note that cooking times may vary accordingly.